Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A running education...

We are done with the school year. Not necessarily done with the grade levels but done until at least we move. It is too stressful to try and pack away things and trying to stay organized for school. So I have given myself a bit of grace and said that we can do a couple weeks of school sometime this summer (...because we do. We don't actually stop... who actually STOPS homeschooling??? Once you are actually a homeschooler every piece of carrion on the side of the road is a possible unit study. No one just stops. You spend WAY too much of your time explaining things to get out of the habit for just three months a year.) So today, I told my kids that their 'school' assignment was to go outside and play in the cool, sunny weather while I organized the garage. And this is what my daughter came up with:

What happens to a leaf, stuck in a jar of water, flipped upside down. (Notice there is no lid on this jar... and it looked like this for the next 6 hours.)

What happens when you mix Insta-snow with floral sand. (I bet that would make the BEST sand castles ever!)

What happens when you try to grow a tomato plant upside down (hint: it's still growing up).

What happens when toddler baby brother decides to mangle the 'control' tomato plant. (I think this one is self explanatory...)

Here is her picture of Alice in Wonderland, which is the theme for her birthday party we are planning for July (Notice the card men paiting the roses red. We just finished the book last week.):

The beauty of homeschooling for me is that it can be a fluid education. A running conversation that happens between Marley and Me, the Hawk we saw dive for a catch on the side of the road, and the blessing of our garden by bringing beans in for dinner. You don't have to sit at the table to learn. You don't have to have the perfectly structured day to make sure they are learning the things they need to know. Sometimes the best 'educational jumps' they get come from happenstance watching the cat eat bugs and Bill Nye the Science Guy videos on the same day. The running tally of the things I HAVE to teach my kids gets shorter and shorter as I realise, all they really need to know is how to read and that learning is fun as all heck... and whatever they need to catch up with in between... well I am sure they will be alright.


Alycia in Va. said...

It looks like you have a future scientist on your hands.

sarah in the woods said...

yay for homeschooling. I keep a calendar to mark off our 180 days. I wanted to get all our days done before we went on vacation, but when it came down to the last couple weeks, there was going to be one day left that I couldn't fit in. I was stressing about when I would do it when my mom reminded me that we probably learn enough on our "off-days" to count for one day. Oh yeah. I think sometimes I just need a smack in the head. The kids may have even learned a thing or two on vacation. (Imagine that!)